CNN is breaking the story that U.S. officials are investigating what appears to be a chemical attack on U.S troops in Iraq:
ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayarrah air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials.
The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.
No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.
One official said the agent had “low purity” and was “poorly weaponized.” A second official called it “ineffective.”
It’s good that it appears to be terribly ineffective, but it’s also frightening to think that this might be just the beginning. Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against his enemies, and it would not be surprising if some of those weapons ended up in the hands of ISIS, who has also been accused of using chemical attacks.
US troops involved in the incident went through decontamination showers as a precaution. No troops have shown any symptoms of exposure, such as skin blistering. CNN has reported on previous instances where ISIS has fired rounds with mustard agents in Iraq and Syria.The officials said they “had expected” that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards Mosul in an effort to take the city back from ISIS. Several hundred US troops are using the base as a staging area for supporting Iraqi forces.
Syria is going crazy as Obama’s attempt at a ceasefire broke down with accusations that the U.S. was helping ISIS, and then what appears to be retaliation by the Russians in the form of an airstrike on United Nations aid caravans.
And you can bet that all of this is happening right now because our enemies want to cash in on our “soft power” wimp of a president. Expect worse.